Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Drunkest City? Green Bay

This is a touch old, but still relevant.  According to a recent study, Green Bay was found to be the United States' most drunken city, based on self-reported incidents of binge drinking.

Wisconsin also took in honors as the most drunken state in the union, with the following cities ranking as the drunkest in the country:

#1 Green Bay 
#2 Eau Claire 
#3 Appleton 
#4 Madison 
#6 Oshkosh 
#9 Wausau 
#10 La Crosse 
#12 Fond du Lac 
#15 Sheboygan 
#20 Milwaukee

Titletown, indeed.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Michelle Carter is a Murderer, Not a Free Speech Victim

A couple of days ago, Michelle Carter was convicted of manslaughter for promoting the idea of suicide for her "boyfriend."

Actually, she was more than promotional.  She craved that he kill himself, and ordered him to do so:

There are some claiming that poor Michelle is the victim in this episode, as she was just practicing her First Amendment rights.  While we sometimes find that language repugnant, it is just speech, and it is protected.

I'd link to these pieces, but I don't want to give their authors any credence.  Sick.  All of them.

Poor misunderstood Michelle, huh?

Sorry, dear, but you can't yell "FIRE" in a crowded theater because people might be trampled to death.  In the same vein, you can't tell a depressed, suicidal person repeatedly to "just do it" because they just might take their lives.  

You did.  He did.  Now go to jail.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

Wish I Was Wrong

Exactly one week ago, I wondered if we could ever get along.  Just a scant couple of days later, last Wednesday, a 66-year-old Illinois man opened fire on Republican lawmakers practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game, and nearly killing House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. James Hodgkinson, a leftist driven by the hate of his political rivals, was killed by police returning fire, however he still also shot Two Capitol Police officers, a congressional staffer, and a lobbyist. 

It has been reported that investigators found a hit list of GOP lawmakers’ names on Hodgkinson’s body.

What did these people do to deserve being shot?  They voted in a manner and held political beliefs that this guy didn't like.  That's it.

This is the start.  There will be more.  Why am I so confident?  Simple.  There are those on the Left that are claiming that someone that lives a life promoting "hate" deserves what comes to him.  Even if it is being shot on a baseball field. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Foo Fighters - Run

The latest from the Foos.  Bad video.  Good tune.  Can't wait to have it show up on a run.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The End of the Whirlwind

  • On March 2, I accepted my new position after a long courting and negotiation
  • On March 13, I turned in my resignation to my old employer.  I fully expected to have been perp-walked out the building that day, as they did with every other employee that resigned, but my boss had an "Oh shit!" moment and felt the need to keep me on.  It was the best two weeks of my work there.
  • On March 24 I had my last day at work, and moved into a hotel in Minnesota for a week.
  • On April 3, I moved into a rental house until May 17.  In this period I had additional trips to Green Bay (3 times), a weekend in the Cities, and a weekend at the duck camp.
  • On May 18, I moved into our cabin on Leech.
  • I moved out of the rental on May 23, and headed back to Green Bay to close the move.
  • On May 25 we moved back to the cabin.
  • On April 10 we moved out of the cabin and into a hotel.
Though it all we logged countless hours on the road and mileage back and forth.  I lost countless hours of sleep trying to get comfortable in unfamiliar confines.  We spent way, way more that we could have expected, but in the end it is worth every penny.  It has been beyond crazy.

Thankfully, all of that comes to an end.  Today we close on our new home, and our odyssey comes to a conclusion.  

It was long, hard, uncomfortable, and lonely.  However, though it all I met some incredible people, took on a great new role in a fantastic company, and finally feel at home.  Yes, it took a lot, but given how things worked out, I would have done even more had I needed to do so,

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"Tear Down this Wall" at 30

It was 30 years ago that Reagan uttered these famous words.  A couple of thoughts:

  • What a mensch.  Where the hell are men like this today?
  • 30 years?  In some ways that feels way too much, and in some ways that feels not nearly enough
  • It is hard to believe that Reagan demanded it, and the USSR complied.  Granted, things were already tipping that way, but once Reagan made his case, too much momentum was applied and the wall had to fall.
  • It is damned hard to imagine a Berlin wall: a wall designed to keep people in, not keeping people out.  What a massive change in our lifetimes!

I do not miss the cold war and all that it represented.  I do miss the hell out of a leader like Reagan.  We've not seen anything like him since he left office, and we are poorer as a people for it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

How's Work Going?

Here's an example.  Last week we had our annual sales conference, which was Renaissance-themed.  Every conference has a theme, and while not all dress up, those that did not were a handful and were dutifully scorned in fun.

Here's a photo from the event:

Included in this photo are a co-CEO, the company President (and my boss), two of our top sales reps, our newest employee, and me.  

One of our top sales reps always wanted to go to Machu Picchu, so that's where the company is sending her.  The message was delivered via two rented alpacas which sported the signs "Alpaca your bags!" and "You're going to Machu Picchu!"  The alpacas were there for about 5 minutes as the program ran late and, according to one of the CEOs, "alpacas don't do well in the dark."

Another rep always wanted to run with the bulls in Barcelona.  That's where she's going.  Thankfully no bulls were on hand for that announcement.

This is how our company rolls.  This is how appreciation is shown to each other.  This is how we celebrate our successes.  This is our culture.

How's work going?  How do you think it's going?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Can We Ever Get Along?

Is there any common ground anymore?  

Our living environment is one of constant grievance.  No matter what the subject, approximately half of us believe one thing, and the other half believes something else.  Cubed ice?  Bullshit!  Crushed ice, you Nazi!

Not only that, but it is also becoming way too common to also believe that those who don't agree with us are evil.  We heap the absolute worst of humanity on those on the other side of the fence, invoking things like racism, sexism, homophobia, and Nazism.

All because we've lost our ability to get along.

Part, if not all of this has been driven by electronic communications.  From the safety behind the screen, we're well beyond the arm's length of retribution from those that we push too far.  Likewise, we've appeared to have lost the ability to even talk to each other anymore.  It is much more convenient to get online and immediately conduct a social scorched-earth policy against those with whom we have even a minor disagreement.

Where does it end?  All that hatred has to go somewhere.  Personally, I think it is only a matter of time before this hatred spills from social media to the streets.  It seems a natural human progression, that is, unless there is something that can bind us as humans.  

I don't see it - not anymore.  It seems like the only thing we have in common is the blood that runs in our veins, and perhaps, soon to be running in our streets. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Fishing Blues

Despite being up at the cabin in between permanent residences, I've done a scant amount of fishing.  In fact, I've not gone at all this past week.

It's related to the following:

  • I'm a good hour and fifteen minutes from work, so fishing after work or staying up late really isn't an option right now
  • I don't have anyone to fish with.  Mrs. YDP is a very fair weather fisherperson, and things just have not been that fabulous outside
  • The move has been wildly expensive.  Way, way more than we expected.  Dropping another couple hundred dollars on boat rental, gas, bait, etc. seems like a really stupid thing to do right now
The whole situation has conspired to make me 0 for 2017 as it pertains to fishing this year.  

I hope to be able to take advantage of more time on the lake when we return here later in July.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Surprising Twins

We're firmly in June and our favorite baseball team is in first place in the AL North.  No, the lead isn't big, and the lineup has holes aplenty, but this team has been fun to watch.  Specifically:

  • The defense has been off the charts.  The speed in the outfield, in particular, is worth the price of admission.
  • Sano is already damn near the best third baseman the franchise ever had.  Gary Gaetti, watch your butt
  • With Santana and Berrios, the Twins have the best one-two starting pitching punch since I don't know how long.  
I know it's a long season and there is a lot of baseball yet to play, however one cannot argue with the entertainment this team is putting out there on the field on nearly a daily basis.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Who's Next? London

On the 23rd, I penned an article which asked, not rhetorically, who'd be next in the Islam hit parade.  Specifically, I stated the following: 

As sure as we know who did this, we also know they'll be striking again sometime soon.

We had to wait a little bit more than a week.

How long will we continue to put up with this?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Rare Earth - Get Ready (Plus Discussion on Top Drummer Lead Vocalists)

Rare Earth was rare indeed - one of the very few white acts that signed to the Motown label.  That being said, they definitely had a funky vibe:

Beyond that rarity, they also had a drummer that handled the lead vocals.  In thinking about that, there are a couple that stand out, so in honor of Rare Earth's Peter Rivera, I give you my top five lead vocalist drummers:

5) Peter Rivera - Rare Earth: See above

4) Peter Criss - Kiss: While Criss is best known for the first ever hard rock ballad Beth, it is a song that never featured drums.  Go figure.  Despite that, Criss handled leads on Kiss classics like Nothin' to Lose and their best song ever, Black Diamond

3) Levon Helm - The Band: The Band's classic sound would be missing everything if not for Helm's distinctive sound.

2) Phil Collins - Genesis (and solo): He saved Genesis as a band upon the departure of lead singer Peter Gabriel, then launched a wildly successful solo career, with much of it conducted from behind the set.

1) Don Henley - The Eagles: The song Hotel California shows both sides of his performance so perfectly - the driving beats and the unmistakable velvety vocals.  

Now, let's discuss who's not on the list:

  • Ringo Starr - The Beatles: His vocals are terrible, as is his drumming.  In fact, much of the material from the later albums featured drumming from other members of the Beatles instead of from Starr
  • Dave Grohl - Nirvana and Foo Fighters: While a great drummer and a great singer, Grohl never focused on doing both at the same time while with either band
  • Micky Dolenz - The Monkees: This one was hard.  It's not Micky's fault that they had forced them to accept other musicians playing for the Monkee lineup.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

CNN Fires Kathy Griffin

I must admit that I'm surprised by CNN's action.  I really felt that they'd hide behind "Free Speech" (like there is such a thing anymore) and look for a reason to keep her on.  Certainly, their New Year's Eve ratings would be through the roof.

Good for you, CNN.  You did the right thing, regardless of what you may have truly felt.

Maybe there truly are some fair-minded people in the press.  

Ireland Day 7

I've been trying to clean up the blog, and in going through my unpublished drafts, found some golden oldies to share.  The photos below were from our last full day in Ireland a couple of years ago.  The first couple of photos are from an old monastery ruins, with some random coast shots thrown in.

The best shot is of our team on this trip.  That includes Mrs. YDP, my Mom, and our driver Liam, who, as you can see, was pretty darned fresh for my Mom.

We had an incredible trip, and it's fun to go back and look at how wonderful it was

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Kathy Griffin Beheads Donald Trump

A couple of obvious take-aways here:

  • It is astonishing to me how the Left is fanning the flames of violence and hatred.  From this to all of the garbage going on at our colleges, those that disagree with the Left's prevailing positions are finding themselves bullied, threatened, and in some instances, beaten.  It's only a matter a time before someone gets killed.
  • Expect to see something like this during the Obama administration?  How about with Hillary had she won?  And we're the ones spewing hate?
  • Given the two heads in the picture, I'd argue Trump's looks better.  He's certainly aged better, and didn't succumb to some plastic surgery butchery.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Update - Moving Sucks

Sorry for the week long radio silence, gentle reader.  Things have been in upheaval here in YDP land.  Over the past week we've moved out of a rental, moved out of our home, moved into our cabin, hosted buddies for the annual fishing trip, and hosted friends for our annual Memorial Day weekend get-together.  It has been a whirlwind, and the time and motion details associated with all of the activity above would make your jaw drop.

Thankfully, we've had a lot of help.  Work has been incredibly accommodating. My mom lent out her services which were invaluable for the GB move and house cleaning.  She continues to operate at a level 20 years younger than her chronological age, and her moral support is an absolute blessing.  A good friend loaded us his trailer, which saved a large expense and made the move of our golf cart all the more easy.

We now are waiting to hear on our closing in GB.  In the meantime, we'll be living in our cabin for 10 more days.  Thankfully, it had not been rented for this period, and despite my one-way commute of an hour and fifteen minutes, it has been a Godsend.  

Crazy times.  We have one more crappy stint in a hotel for a couple of days, then we'll finally be able to get into our new home and start our new life.  Thank goodness this is all coming to an end soon. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Manchester the Latest. Who's Next?

Innocent people at a concert.  Nearly two dozen now dead.  

When will the West learn that Islam holds nothing for it but death?

Not assimilation.  Not cultural enrichment.  Not betterment of any kind.  Just death.

As sure as we know who did this, we also know they'll be striking again sometime soon.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Moving Pains

Stuff is coming together on both closes, which is great.  Our movers?  That's another story.  They still won't confirm a move date.  We don't have any kind of contract or agreement, so if they pull the plug on us, we'll be going the U-Haul route.

The stress of the past two weeks has been difficult hard to take.  We want to move to the next space on the board, but there always appears to be someone or something preventing us from doing so.

This has been really hard.  But it's not cancer hard, or losing a loved one hard, and I've been trying to keep a proper perspective.  

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Redbone - Come and Get Your Love

When I was growing up, I could have swore these guys were black.  Wrongo:

 It was also part of one of the best opening sequences in Mavel history:

I do dig me some Redbone

Friday, May 19, 2017

Running Update

In preparing for a 10k in September I've been doing a slow but steady training session for about the past two months.  Things are going well thus far, and I've reached the 5 mile mark for my every-other-day runs.  I'm 50/50 that if push came to shove and I needed to crank out that 6th mile to get in a 10k, I could do it.

There is still a lot left to do.  My pace is horribly slow and needs to be improved.  I do need to stretch out my distance.  My form is really bad when I fatigue, and I heel-strike way too much, usually starting at mile 3.  Likewise, my diet's not been good living as a bachelor up here in the north woods, so I'm carrying far more weight than I'd like for the amount of mileage I'm logging.  With life getting more normal next month and with the mileage increasing, my hope is that some of it starts to fall off.

In the meantime the goal is to stay healthy and not get injured.  So far, so good.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Anything to Get Trump

A few days ago the Washington Post published a story from an anonymous source that President Trump had shared intelligence secrets in a recent meeting.  The obliging press and the rest of the Left immediately jumped on the story and have continued to use it as additional fuel for their dream of impeachment.

Only one little problem.  It didn't happen.

National Security Adviser Gen. McMaster made a very public statement that he was in the meeting in question, and what is being reported never happened.  

Here's his statement:

"A brief statement for the record. There is nothing that the president takes more seriously than the security of the American people. The story that came out tonight as reported is false. The president and the [Russian] foreign minister [Sergey Lavrov] reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation. At no time — at no time — were intelligence sources or methods discussed and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known. Two other senior officials who were present, including the secretary of the state, remember the meeting the same way and have said so. Their on the record accounts should outweigh those of anonymous sources. And I was in the room. It didn’t happen. Thanks, everybody."

Think about it for a second.  If somebody had the goods on Trump, why in the world would they choose to stay anonymous?  They'd be hailed a savior and a celebrity, and live out the rest of their days in untold wealth.  Indeed, why not come forward and acquire those riches?

Simple.  Because they're lying.  Or they flat don't exist in the first place.

Take your pick.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Missing Things

I was home last weekend, helping Mrs. YDP to get us moved out of Green Bay and returning to Minnesota.  It was great to be back in our home, where there was space galore, a full beer fridge, and our huge, comfortable bed (which is NOT an inflatable).

As I sat on our patio grilling and looking out at the golf course, I felt pretty blue.  We'd never again live in a home as nice as this.  We're only going backward from here, and it made me sad.

I thought about my melancholy.  Why was I truly sad?  The answer came clearly - I was missing things.  Tangible things.  Inanimate things.  Just...things.

Were we happy there?  Nope.  We did have the Lambeau Fais Do Do, and a couple of other family gatherings, but beyond that, we did not have a ton of memories there.  It was a lot of me golfing by myself, and us missing our friends and family.

Did I ever think that I'd ever live in an active NFL player's house in my life?  Nope.  Did I ever think I'd take a financial bath on said house?  Nope.  Am I bitter?  YES.

Don't get me wrong, it was a nice house.  Nice as hell.  The only thing it didn't have was proximity to people we love.

Will I miss the things?  You bet.  Will I miss them as much as I've missed the people?  Not even close. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

St. John's in Images

This video captures the beauty and the true essence of the community that is St. John's University.


Nostalgia Final from SSQTCH MEDIA on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

The older I get, the more I understand what is truly easy in life, and what it truly hard.  You know what's hard?  Being a mom.  I can't envision a tougher job.  It's unending, draining, and sometimes completely thankless and heartbreaking.

Yet, though the toil and the pain, there they stand.  Still holding our hands, even as we're firmly in the grips of middle age.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there.  We stand in awe of all that you do, and who you are.  

Especially this one:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday Song Share - Songs for My Brother

For my brother's birthday every year here at Yellow Dog Patrol we review some of what I've recently downloaded and is on heavy musical rotation.  While this used to be accompanied with an iTunes gift of the same selection, these now need to be downloaded manually.  

Apple jerks.

I digress.  In no particular order, here is some juicy music that's been rolling around my ears of late:

  • "When My Train Pulls In" - Gary Clark Jr.  Fantastic new blues.  Lots of critical comparisons to Jimi, but he definitely has his own style.  Shows that the blues will never, ever be out of style
  • "Tear It Down" - Spoon  These guys have been making really interesting since the early '90's.  They're still incredibly relevant, and this is just one example of their unique, timeless style
  • "It's Been A While Since I Was Your Man" - Matthew Goode  I know he's a flaming lefty, and is one of the worse offenders of the "shut up and sing" rules, but damn, he can write fine music.  Would love to see him live.  Minus all the hate of righties, of course
  • "Love Like Crazy" Jessica Lee Wilkes  Got that great 50's rockabilly vibe that never seems to go out of style.  Sounds a touch like Amy Winehouse
  • "Grandview" - John Mellencamp  On his previous album, he sounded terrible.  I thought for sure his career was over.  Then I saw him in concert, and he sounded amazing.  Now comes this release.  John Cougar is back.  Wow.  Sounds awesome.
  • "As I Walk Away" - Yuck  Another really strong effort from one of my favorite newer bands
  • "A Feather's Not a Bird" Rosanne Cash  Just saw her sing this live last week up here in DL's incredible theater.  Hard to believe that an artist like her would play such a venue.  This one won her multiple Grammys.  Deservedly so.
  • "Madonna of the Wasps" - Neko Case  She has one of the best and most distinctive voices in music right now.  I just love her sound.
  • "Soldier's Angel" - Stevie Nicks  Got a lot of help from Lindsay Buckingham on this.  Just an incredible song on so many levels.  
  • "Broken Halos" - Chris Stapleton  This is what country music should sound like in 2017.  Too bad this is the rare exception, instead of the rule
  • "PTP" - Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears  This is what soul music should sound like in 2017.  Funky!
  • "Nobody Speak" - DJ Shadow  Questionable lyrics, but sound is totally addicting
  • "Feel It Still" - Portugal. The Man  Totally fun funky vibe.  Best driving song of the entire mix.  Watch for cops.
  • "Crazy" - Pylon  Perhaps my favorite REM song covered by one of my favorite new bands.  Good version, good cover.
  • "Overture" - Dave Grohl and Friends  As you know, I'm a huge Foos fan, as well as a huge Rush fan.  Combine the two?  Rock out, my brother.
  • "Name on a Matchbook" Springtime Carnivore  We get to the catchiest hook in the mix.  This one will have you whistling along.
  • "Summerland"  Everclear  These guys are out touring the 20th anniversary of this album, which seems hard to wrap my head around.  "Just a name on the map - sounds like heaven to me."
  • "Little Queenie"  Chuck Berry  I know a lot of this song was cobbled together from Chuck's other stuff, but if you're borrowing from yourself, and you're a genius, who cares?  Meanwhile...
  • "Everything is Broken" Bob Dylan  The thing I admire so much about Dylan is his rhyming.  There are so many times he could use the obvious connection but does something unexpected.  It's one of the things that makes him so great.
  • "Whiskey, Beer, and Wine" - Buddy Guy  We close with the blues, with a man who is still out there and killing it.  
Happy birthday to my brother!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Baby Hears for the First Time

How important is hearing?  Ask this little baby, who was unable to hear, until hearing aids were applied:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Hard to be Homeless

We're on to week six of the new gig.  Things continue to go well there, but I will admit, this existence is hard.  The hassles of selling a house, buying another, landing a mortgage, coordinating a move, all the while living a very meager existence in a rented home are full of stress.  At times it makes it hard to concentrate, hard to sleep, and hard to be at my best.

While I do indeed lack a home, I am far from homeless.  I do have protection from the elements.  I do have a warm place to sleep.  I do have ample food in my belly and clean clothes to wear.  I do interact with people that like and appreciate me every day.  I do talk to people that love me on a daily basis.  I have my health.

Yes, things are hard.  However, compared to how some are living their lives, I'm ashamed to admit my frustration and my discomfort.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Oscar Meyer Wienermobile Hits Alaska

The Wienermobile's reach is far and wide.  

Beware, vegetarians...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

House Quest Complete

Mrs. YDP came up for a long weekend to try and help us pin down a new home in our new home.  After four hard days, looking at 15 different offerings, and logging dozens of miles, we settled on a really great town home with lake access.

It wasn't the greatest negotiation, but they never are.  Ultimately, we got a fair deal on a great place.

Likewise, our place back in Green Bay sold as well.  Now all we need to do is close on both, and we'll be getting on with our lives.

After living apart and with me living like a transient for the last five weeks, that sounds great to me.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Why I Am Where I Am

I've only told my wife this story.

It was early February, and my job was a nightmare.  It was toxic, didn't align with my values, and was a daily battle.  I needed out in the worst way, and my daily prayer was for one of deliverance.  I needed to be delivered from the situation that I was in.

As I made my way up to my on-site interview, that thought of deliverance was strongly on my mind, and was what I was seeking as I said a rosary on the way.  As I closed closer to my destination, I had finished my rosary and and switched over to my iPhone for some music to get me pumped up for the impending interview.

As I was about 20 minutes out, Johnny Paycheck's song Take this Job and Shove It came up.  I laughed at the coincidence.  Of the 16,000 songs in my library, this was one of the 3,000 that made it onto my phone.  Long odds, indeed, and I couldn't help but remember that time when All Creatures of Our God and King came on while I was driving.  Was this a sign?  I kind of chuckled to myself.

Those chuckles were replaced by sobs when the very next song that came on, the very next song, was All Creatures of Our God and King.

I knew at that point that I'd get an offer.  I knew it.

When I finally told my wife the story, I wondered to her if God would be so overt (if not vulgar) by the whole "shove it," aspect.  "Well, your dad might have put Him up to it," she replied.

Truer words.

Again, you can believe what you choose to believe in this story.  All I know is that I can do math.  There was a 3.51% chance those songs even both made it onto my phone in the first place.  Then, for All come up immediately after Johnny Paycheck was a 0.03% chance, for a combined chance of this happening of 0.00001%.  Basically one in 10,000,000.  Combine that with the odds of my other episode...

All I know is that I feel God spoke to me and answered a prayer.  That He may have been nudged by somebody I love and miss greatly is just icing on the cake.  

In the aftermath, I feel happy, at home, and delivered.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Gov't Mule - Time to Confess

It's time for some blues, and Ladies and Gentlemen, Gov't Mule is dishing it up by the bucketfull:

Friday, May 5, 2017

Fuzzy's Turkey

Last weekend Fuzzy and I went to the duck camp and tried our hand at hunting the elusive wild turkey.  While our property has pretty much always held turkeys, they've been damned hard to hunt.  In about ten years of hunting them, we've only bagged one, and got shots at two.

We opted for a new strategy this year.  Unlike in years past where we separated to cover more ground, we just ended up texting each other most of the day, so this year we opted to cut to the chase and I bought us a ground blind.  That way we could just talk to each other, because we don't do that enough.

Here's are the new digs in action:

We got into the blind at some stupid hour of the morning; well ahead of the woods waking up.  Our early stealth paid off, as we heard one and likely three toms gobbling on the roost behind us to the north about 150 yards.  They gobbled great on the roost, but about fly down time, they clammed up.

I started calling about then, doing my best to sound like a hen in dire need of a hot date.  We had a decoy placed out front of us strategically at about 25 yards, and well in the open to be within clear view of any hot tom.

I kept up the calling about every ten minutes or so, but never got any kind of response.  Our fear is that the turkeys headed off the north and away from us, and that they likely couldn't even hear me anymore.

Then, about 8:30 we were greeted by a seemingly random gobble about 100 yards behind us.  I replied with a call, and got nothing in return.  About five minutes later he gobbled from about the same location, and I immediately called back to him, which elicited a response gobble.  Then he got quiet again.

About three minutes later we were looking both north and south, then I happened to turn Fuzzy's way and look out the west window.  There was the tom.  How he closed that much ground was a mystery to me, but there he was, all puffed up and looking for love.  "Fuzzy, look to your right," I whispered.  "Holy shit!" Fuzzy replied.

I encouraged him to get his gun and go for a shot, but there is no way that Fuzzy could have got his gun up and out the window without getting busted.  We opted to just sit there and see what would happen.

Our Romeo had definitely seen our decoy (hence the puff-up), but he was getting the cold shoulder. Hence, he started a mosey to try and get her attention.  That afforded Fuzzy to get an opportunity to get the gun up and out the front window.  Unfortunately, Fuzz was off balance, and mid-aim asked "Hold me up!"  Like any good coach in this situation, I responded with motivation via a "Shoot the son of a bitch!" command.  

Fuzzy did as he was told and rolled our bird with one sporty shot.  He even waited for Mr. Romance to make his way a little away from my decoy so that it wouldn't take any stray shot.  Here are the results:

Our boy turned out to be a hoss, weighing in at a full 22+ pounds.  While ugly, they are also gloriously beautiful as well, especially in the sun:

My hunt day the following day yielded nary a gobble.  We had a hen check out our decoy, as well as a couple of deer, but it was obvious that the word in the woods was that a couple of turkey hit men were loose in the woods, and the toms steered clear.  Regardless, that was one of the funnest hunts I've ever been on, and I can't wait to do it again next year.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Best Golf Trick Shots

Spring is finally here in the Midwest, so that means time for golf, and that means time for some golf trick shots:

Got a favorite?  Personally, I like the club all the way around the body the best, but all of them are pretty amazing.  

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Twinge

I got contacted by a recruiter yesterday; one that I've worked with in the past and has good familiarity with me and my capabilities.  The role is a VP gig, reporting to the CEO.  It'd own the entire B to C P&L, and would be responsible for a team of 30.  In doing some quick research on the company, there are a dozen things I identified that I could start working on tomorrow to improve performance.  It's owned by private equity, and there'd be a chance for a big pay day.  It'd pay twice what I'm making now.  It fit within the confines of my current non-compete.

Now the buts:

But I'm happy for the first time in a long time

But it is in Salt Lake City (don't get me started)

But I really like getting into the shower at 7:00, getting to work at 7:45, and leaving no later than 5:30

But I really like smiling and laughing again. 

But I'm going to try and buy a house on the lake and grab summer and hold it by the throat like I haven't since I was a little kid.

But I'm finally close to family and friends again

But I'm again going to sleep without drinking, and sleeping through the night

So what in the world am I thinking?  Simple.  It's ego.  I like being an executive in a big company.  I like the title, the pay, and the perks, and I like to prove folks wrong about me.  From that perspective, I'd really, really like to take a run at the opportunity.

Thankfully, the logical part of me is smarter than the ego part of me.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Texas Teacher Abuse Crisis

And don't kid yourself; it's a crisis.  In a recent article about yet another arrest of a teacher for multiple counts of sexual impropriety with multiple students, Breitbart offers these shocking statistics:

No doubt, teachers crossing the line sexually with students continue to plague Texas classrooms. DeEtta Culbertson, Texas Education Agency (TEA) spokeswoman, told Breitbart Texas the agency opened 159 of these cases between September 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017.

By comparison, the TEA opened 123 cases during the entire 2008-09 academic year. These numbers rose steadily over the years: 2009-10, 141 cases; 2010-11, 152; 2011-12, 156; 2012-13, 163; and 2013-14, 179. In 2014-15, the TEA accounted for a disconcerting 188 instances, which lead Senate Education Committee members to meet and seek policy solutions plus assess the role of social media in fostering this troubling educator behavior.

The 2015-16 school year, though, marked an all-time high of 222 cases, Breitbart Texas reported. So startling the numbers, the TEA asked state lawmakers to fund nearly $400,000 in their 2018-19 academic budget for hiring two investigators and one administrator to better tackle the problem.

A couple of thoughts:

  • You might turn up your nose at me for quoting Breitbart.  Fine.  Then ask yourself why these facts are being ignored by other news outlets.
  • Over 1,000 cases of abuse in the past ten years in Texas alone.  What would be the coverage if such activity were being conducted by the Catholic church?
  • Pedophiles go to where the kids are, folks.  The kids are in school.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Washington Post Reporter and I Move to Northern Minnesota...

Check out this story:

You can read more on the story here

While I'm not in as small a community as the family featured here, I am in a small town.  I can't go anywhere without bumping into someone that I know.  As I become more integrated into the town via church and other aspects, it will only get worse.

And I love it.

People here are genuinely nice.  What our reporter found, I've found as well.  They're proud of this area (rightfully so!) and they want to share it.  The smiles here are everywhere.  The pace here is comfortable.  The activities here are boundless, you just need to look differently to find them.

I've lived in Minnesota most of my life, and I'm finally understanding the meaning of "Minnesota Nice."  It's dripping up here.

If Mrs. YDP loves it as much as I do, we're in for a very happy life.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Volvo Truck Driven By Little Girl

Pretty effective way to show that Volvo trucks can take a beating.

Even one dished out by a little girl:

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saturday Song Share: The Suburbs - Music for Boys

From 1981, at the height of their powers.  Not sure how they never made it - have to believe a lot of drugs were involved, or maybe they were a couple of years ahead of their time. But still, this was one damn fine band.  

Friday, April 28, 2017

KFC Zinger Commercial

Rob Lowe does his best Colonel Sanders / Jack Kennedy mashup in the next iteration of KFC's rotating Colonels campaign.

This might be their best installment, yet.  And I love that Lowe's voice treatment is equal parts Harland Sanders, JFK, and Rob Lowe.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

April Snow Limerick

While I'd grown quite attached to their beer
From Wisconsin, due west I did steer
While glad to depart
It was a blow to the heart
Had the Frozen Tundra followed me here?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

St. Joseph, the Builder

There is a lot we don't know about Jesus' father.  We learn most about him from the Infancy Narratives from Matthew and Luke, and, as reported here earlier, we know he was a man of incredible faith.

We also know that, as a trade, he was a carpenter and a builder.  But what exactly did he build?  As Jesus' father, we can attest that he helped to build Jesus the man.  Jesus likely learned a trade from Joseph, and, more importantly, likely learned lessons as to how a man sacrifices to take care of the ones he loves.

We don't know how or when Joseph died, but the legacy of the man he helped raise and mold has literally spread to all corners of the world.  

An incredible builder, that St. Joseph.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Chipolte: Keeping it Real with Jillian Bell - Musician

Chipolte has a mess on its hands.  About a year ago, an E.coli contamination threatened to completely scuttle the company.  Even now, the brand is nowhere where is used to be, and still appears reeling and unsteady on its feet.

Seeming to want to get things back to normal, they've launched a "keeping it real" campaign featuring "real" conversations with stand-up comings.  Most of them are total misses.  Likewise, it is interesting to see that the campaign designed to salvage the suffering brand as one in which folks need to "keep it real."

Regardless, of the half dozen or so that I've seen, one does stand out:


While it in no way made me feel like I should get up off the couch and get some potentially sketchy Mexican food, I was at least entertained. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Minnesota Wild's Run is Over

It was an interesting year for the Minnesota Wild this year.  The regular season was a juggernaut with the team playing the best professional hockey ever for the franchise.  Consider the following:

  • Minnesota was 49-25-28, second in the Western Conference with a franchise-best 106 points. They set their records for longest winning streak (12, Dec. 4-29) and longest point streak (13 games, 12-0-1), and were second in the NHL with a plus-58 goal differential.  
  • With 13 players scoring at least 10 goals (tied for most in the NHL), Minnesota was second in the NHL with 263 goals.
The team found a way to win, and the puck found a way to cross the line.  It was really fun, but over the past month or so, the team stumbled.  Wins and goals were harder to come by, and that 1st place position they enjoyed got handed over to the hated Chicago Blackhawks.

No worries - the playoffs afforded a new season, and their #2 seeding gave them a good chance for a Cup run.  Unfortunately, nobody told Jake Allen, and the St. Louis goalie stood on his head and held the Wild to 8 goals across 5 games.  While the Wild outshot the Blues 182-133 and got good goaltending, there were not enough goals to move onto the next round and face the Nashville Predators (who had themselves vanquished the hated Blackhawks in a four-game sweep).

In some regards the season feels like a step forward, but the playoff performance adds up to usual Wild futility.  The goal of the NHL is to win the Stanley Cup, and in that effort the Wild failed miserably.

Oh well, at least we have the Twins to follow.  

Oh, wait... 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Monk's Chronicle

If a reader of this space, then you're aware of my affinity and love for Fr. Don and his daily posts from St. John's.  Well, a couple of months ago, I was made aware of another writer from that community who is worthy of your support and readership.

Fr. Eric Hollas writes "A Monk's Chronicle," and writes it wonderfully.  He offers a thought provoking and often times beautiful view of faith, and is a pure joy to read.  My only regret is that he only writes weekly.

I strongly encourage you to check out his site by clicking here, and then signing up for his email distribution.  It's very much worth the read.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Bob Schneider - Mudhouse

This is an awesome, funky song to begin with.  When mashed up with old school Soul Train solo line moves, well, check it out for yourselves:

Ain't got nobody, baby
I can call my shorty

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bill O'Reilly is Toast

Hard to believe, but the biggest voice in all of cable news has been brought silent.  To their credit (albeit very late), Fox conducted its own investigation, and what they turned up could not have been good, as their golden goose was scattered to the wind.  Bill must have known they had the goods as well, as he chose to not put up a fight and just rolled over.

For the life of me, I cannot understand this behavior.  Why treat women so lousy?  Why risk tens of millions a year?  Why not control yourself?  Why?

We'll never know for sure, I guess.  Chalk it up to yet another example of someone in the highest of positions that just couldn't be a decent human being.  

Why is that so damned hard, especially for the most powerful?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Delta's 4:00 AM Ad

I'm a big fan of Delta airlines.  I like their approach to service, I adore their frequent flyer program (although I'll lose my Gold status with them this year), and I massively respect that they're one of the only airlines out there that will deliberately fly around weather systems specifically for passenger comfort.  Most airlines take the shortest distance between two points, and it matters not what kind of hell lies on that line.

I've always preferred to travel early.  I like getting where I'm going, and I like having a day full of options ahead of me in the event that Mother Nature or the mechanical gremlins have something in store.  I just find it easier, and more often than not, find myself on the first flight out in the morning.

That's why I see a lot of myself in this ad:

While my business travel days may have passed me, it was nice to see Delta recognize who I was and what I needed to do to be their customer.

Well done.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Fountain of Youth?

After being gone a couple of weeks, I returned home to see my wife.  Living apart has been really hard, and while I have plenty to do at my new job, it does get pretty darn lonely at night.

Upon arrival at home, I was in the kitchen in the morning, fixing myself a cup of coffee, when my wife stopped me and said, "You know, you look younger."  


She went on to explain that the last couple of months she had really become concerned about me.  I didn't look good.  My color was off.  I wasn't sleeping well.  I looked tired and I looked old.  

Not anymore.

I later went to an event at Lambeau Field that was being held by my old employer as I needed to pick up some things for my impending move, plus I'd been wanting to pick up a turkey blind.  One of the first people I bumped into was a guy that had only recently joined our company.  He walked up to me, shook my hand, and immediately said, "You look younger."

Later still, I ran into a friend, and together we took a selfie and sent if off to another friend.  That person exclaimed upon receiving the picture that I looked 10 years younger.

I'm not sure if any of this is true, and if it is if it will last, but it's nice to know that, at least to a couple of people, I look like I feel.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Latest Weird Thing Stuck in My Head

I have a really weird memory.  Mrs. YDP constantly asks how in the world I know what I know. It is really great for trivia contests. But beyond facts and figures, other things that are stuck up there are unfortunate things like advertising jingles from the 70's, one-hit wonder songs, and intricately clear memories of just about every time in my life in which I hurt others. 

I thought I might share some of what is currently rolling around.  Growing up, I loved All Star Wrestling.  While the action was some spotty (Kenny "Sodbuster" Jay was ALWAYS going to get his ass kicked), the personalities were fantastic, as were the advertisers.

One such advertiser was Otto Blihovde.  Who is this Otto Blihovde, you might ask?   Well, let's just take a little trip to Michigan (or North or South Dakota) and find out:

Just like lutefisk, Otto is an acquired taste.  That being said, I can pretty much guarantee he sold thousands of albums advertising on wrestling in the 1970's in Minnesota.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

I have been reading and podcasting on a lot of apologetics lately, and it has really deepened my faith.  There is so much in secular society that tries to downplay Christianity, but when one truly looks at the facts (and make no mistake, there are plenty of facts) there is little doubt that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.

The biggest thing of all is the resurrection.  Hundreds, if not thousands, saw Jesus die with their own eyes.  Then, later, thousands more saw him resurrected.

Without the resurrection, the historical Jesus perhaps could have been a profit, magician, or some enlightened soul.  With the resurrection, He proves who He claimed to be all along, the Son of Man, the Lamb, the Alpha and the Omega, the Way and the Light.  He is our reconciliation.  He is our hope.

He is Emanuel.  He is God Among Us.  He is our salvation.

With that, I extend to you a wish for a happy Easter, in all that it means.


Matthew 28

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”